Together Towards Open Access – Celebrating 50 Books in the Open

To celebrate that Stockholm University Press has published over 50 Open Access books since its first release in 2015, we organised a seminar on May 11th 2023, called Together towards open access. Stakeholders in the process were invited to panel talks about increasing the number of open academic books.

Open Textbooks for Students

The first panel, called “Möjligheter för öppen kurslitteratur” (Possibilities for open course literature), was introduced by Library Director Wilhelm Widmark and focused on how we can increase the production of textbooks for students. Associate Professor Karin Dirke from the Department of Culture and Aesthetics and Associate Professor Ketil Thorgersen from the Department of Teaching and Learning, together with Simon Froster Delbom, the president of the Stockholm University Student Union, participated in the discussion moderated by Sofie Wennström from Stockholm University Press. The conversation was lively and insightful, touching on what constitutes a good textbook and the obstacles to publishing more accessible literature.

The panel (in Swedish) was recorded and is available upon request. Email the press team at to gain access.

Prerequisites for the Growth of Available Open Access Books

The second panel, Prospects for open book publishing, was in English. In this section, we explored what it takes to enable researchers to publish more books with open licensing, and we thus invited different stakeholders with interest in the shift towards open access to academic books.

Speakers were Eva Stensköld, Research Manager at the funding agency Riksbankens Jubileumsfond; Niklas Gårdfeldt Leavy, Publisher at Natur & Kultur; Elisabeth Wåghäll Nivre, Deputy Vice President for Human Science and Professor of German literature at the Department of Slavic and Baltic Studies, Finnish, Dutch and German at Stockholm University and; Åke Ingerman, Chair of the Steering Committee for Kriterium, and Professor and Dean at the Department of Pedagogical, Curricular and Professional Studies at the University of Gothenburg.

The panel’s diversity was reflected in the spectrum of aspects that the speakers represented. Changing to an open publishing system requires change on different levels, such as altering the merit system for academics and coming up with financial models to pay for the production of books rather than purchasing access to them. However, it was also noted that the change is welcome if it contributes to maintaining the diversity of published books and the freedom of researchers to choose their publishing channel.

The panel (in English) was recorded and is available upon request. Email the press team at to gain access.

We hope to be able to organise similar events in the future to allow for more discussion on how we can increase the number of books published with an open license. Follow this blog for more updates and news from Stockholm University Press.

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